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Unreasonable noise

What is unreasonable residential noise?

Residential noise is noise that originates from a residential property or its immediate surroundings.

If you are having difficulty dealing with residential noise and have not been able to resolve the matter with those making the noise, you can report the noise to the City to investigate.

Talk to the property owner or your Owners' Corporation

Property owners can have a role in managing noise in some situations.

Consumer Affairs Victoria have more information about how to make a complaint to property owners and owners’ corporations.

Making a complaint about ongoing residential noise

Before reporting a noise issue to the City, there are a few important things to consider:

  • Engaging a regulator can strain your relationship with your neighbour
  • This process can feel focussed on a problem rather than a solution
  • This process may not lead to the resolution you seek

Residential noise issues can be reported to the City for investigation on 1300 002 642

How complaints are handled

Many noise complaints reported to the City are ‘one off’ events. In these situations the City is not able to gather the required evidence for the noise to be proven 'unreasonable' and won't be able to assist. 

The City’s Authorised Officers can investigate residential noise and determine whether the noise is unreasonable.

In making this determination, officers consider:

  • The source of the noise
  • Volume and intensity
  • Characteristics of the noise
  • Time and setting
  • Circumstances
  • Duration
  • Regularity

It is important to note that some sources of residential noise are outside our regulatory scope, such as voices, children playing, noise from wildlife and noise from unknown sources.


When undertaking an investigation, Authorised Officers aim to gather evidence to inform their determination. You may be asked to assist by providing information in the form of a disturbance log, a statement or by providing access to your property.

Each investigation is unique and Authorised Officers will select the methods they deem most appropriate to gather evidence. Not all circumstances call for noise recordings or measurements. If a measurement is required, please note that our Authorised Officers can only accept measurements from our calibrated, specialised measurement equipment.


Where Authorised Officers determine that noise is unreasonable, the City will also consider how best the matter is resolved. Often the City determine that noise matters are best settled privately between parties.

The City will only take enforcement action where it determines that it is the most appropriate way to address unreasonable noise. Once a determination has been made, the City will notify you.

Other types of noise

After receiving a noise complaint, the City’s Authorised Officers may determine that the noise is outside the regulatory scope of Local Government. If this is the case, you will be notified.

Anti-social or threatening noise

If your noise problem is happening out of business hours and is anti-social or threatening, please contact Victoria Police on 000 at the time of the disturbance.

Noise from new developments

If you are experiencing noise from a new development, please contact the developer or builder directly. Their contact details or company name are usually displayed on signage and work vehicles.

Residential construction noise can be reported to the City for investigation on 1300 002 642

Commercial, industrial and other types of non-residential noise

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria website has more information on how to deal with noise issues.

To report noise from commerce or industry, please contact Environment Protection Authority Victoria on 1300 372 842


Our Environmental Health staff are often out and about undertaking their roles. If you would like to organise a face to face meeting with them please contact us in advance to organise an appointment at a time that suits.

[email protected]

1300 002 642